“Chai, Chai!” yelled Chotu as he tottered along the streets in his neighbourhood. The sun shone brightly as he watched young boys and girls line up for their school bus. Chotu stood and stared as the children hurriedly climbed into the bus…NOT KNOWING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT…
Chotu watched as the bus left, leaving him behind with his tea and loneliness. Smoke came churning out of the vehicle as it slowly moved forward.
Chotu was a tall but skinny boy. He had dark skin and a sluggish frown was a permanent mark on his face. It looked like he needed a good wash. Anyone walking past him would give him a dirty look and walk away. He felt hurt and broken when people did that. Poverty had taken him over and that was how it was going to be for the rest of his life. He was poor as well as an orphan. His parents had died when he was a baby. He lived with his uncle but once he was gone, Chotu’s world fell apart.
“Chai, Chai, anyone?” his voice echoed. No answer, nothing! A breeze whistled past his ear. It was a warm day, with the sun beating down and the cars on the upcoming freeway juggling about in the traffic. The blazing sun blinded his eyes. He looked down and started walking to the start of a normal day. Another cold breeze blew past his ears. This time it was different. He had heard a whisper, an eerie voice. And then an eerie silence.
“The Switch, The Switch, The Switch.” It finally died down. He gave a sigh of relief. By now, a bus had stopped at a red light. Suddenly, out of the blue, a metallic black car raced by, its sirens deafening his ears. It had a special number plate, which meant it was a governmental car. Or was it? It had passed the bus just a few seconds ago and children were frantically waving in excitement. From the children’s view, it seemed good but on the other end of the switch…ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.
This was not very normal in such a place. No government vehicle raced past and the sirens did not scream! It had to be a very serious matter. For a minute or so Chotu was curious to know what was happening.
“The Switch, The Switch, The Switch” That voice, that alarming whisper. He had realized one thing that would change the life of many children.
Chotu knew something had to be wrong. A government vehicle raced past. The front and back windows were tinted so it was impossible to look inside. The siren was flashing red and blue lights in a 360-degree circle. Chotu left his stack of tea behind, following the cries of “The Switch”—its main source was the bus! He walked towards with caution with only one thought…something was wrong.
As the black car had raced by, Chotu had noticed that the back window of the car had slightly opened, only to see a hand reaching out and throwing something…he did not see much but knew it was bad.
“Why would an eerie voice haunt me?” he thought. He went over and saw a square piece of machinery and a timer. Instantly the beeping started. “THE SWITCH, THE SWITCH!” it was shouting.
He went on the bus and told the conductor. The conductor laughed and gave him a dirty look.
Two minutes LATER…
“RUN. RUN. LEAVE IT BEHIND. GET OUT!” the adults and the older students in the bus yelled .The bomb was ticking, ticking slowly. Chotu prayed that everybody would be safe. Within 20 seconds of caution, everybody had left. Chotu inspected the bus quickly enough to JUST get out …. if only he didn’t trip.
YOU CAN’T SAVE 25 PEOPLE WITHOUT KILLING ONE!
The Switch – It had its catch!
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